Dying to Live

By Syeda Khan



An imprisoned member by the name of Khader Adnan that belongs to a Palestinian militant group called the Islamist Jihad has participated in a hunger strike for about two months. Khader is trying to bring the attention of Israel’s military justice system and its treatment of detainees who can be held without any charge for legal penalty.

According to 33 year old Khader Adnan has refused food for 55 days, the longest hunger strike that has ever been waged by a Palestinian detainee. Adnan had begun his hunger strike shortly after he was arrested in a raid of his home on December 17th in the northern West Bank village. Adnan claims that soldiers had made sexual remarks about his wife as well as mocked his Muslim faith. He has also claims that Israeli agents beat him during his interrogation by tying him in a painful position to a chair, ripped his hair out, and put dirt on his face.

According to Adnan’s lawyer Tamar Peleg-Syreck, Adnan is being held under a policy that is known as administrative detention; this policy allows Israel to hold suspected militants without charge based on secret information that cannot be shared with lawyers, this policy is used in cases that are known as high-risk.

With his condition deteriorating, Israeli authorities who consider Khader a terrorist are trying to keep him alive. If Adnan dies, his death could turn him into a Palestinian hero and set off more violence. According to his lawyer, Adnan has lost about 60 pounds and weighs only 140 pounds. His skin is now discolored, hair has all fallen out, and he cannot even walk, and has now been shackled to his bed. He manages to drink water on occasions that has been contained with electrolytes and vitamins to keep him alive. However, his condition is now considered severe. Adnan’s protest not only could cost him his life but, also have a big political impact as well.

The Islamist Jihad group, which have already killed a dozen of Israelis in suicide bombings and many other attacks, have promised to punish Israel if Adnan dies. The group could fire rockets into Israel and the Gaza Strip, where it has recently built a powerful arsenal of new weapons.

Adnan is being held right now at a prison hospital where is condition is being watched closely by prison officials, according to officials if necessary the prison officials have a right to force feed Adnan. This case has generated a widespread support in the Palestinian society. Small demonstrations have been going on in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent days. Many followers on Twitter and Facebook have been spreading the news as well as changing their profile picture to a bearded Adnan with a lock across his mouth.

In my opinion, such a statement, such a sacrifice, speaks thousands of the type of oppression Palestinians face daily. What do you think?